Zio, the renowned Italian family restaurant in Hyde Park, was where the dazzling, newly crowned Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, chose to share a meal in the first week of her reign.
Just four days after winning the coveted title, Zozi met with her father, Lungisa Tunzi – who works at the Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria – to catch him up on her news.
It was also where she asked the Top Billing crew to film her for a segment to be aired on the SABC lifestyle show this Saturday (August 17th).
Her proud dad, Lungisa, beamed as he feasted on Beef fillet casarecce , and watched his daughter tuck into the restaurant’s signature dish, Penne Alessandro, designed by and named for Zio owner Alex Khojane.
The father and daughter share a very special bond.
The 25-year-old PR student – who was born and raised in Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape – says: “My dad is the greatest father in the whole world.
“He probably knows the names of all previous pageant title holders, probably even more than I do because he shows an interest in everything his daughters love.”
Zozibini says she read somewhere that children choose their parents.
“If that is true, my family is the best decision I have made in my life so far. Everything else can be falling apart but they remain the constant centre of my joy.”
She chose to have lunch with her dad at Zio because she said “it has the reputation of being a family restaurant. Of course, it goes without saying, that the food is delicious,” she said.
Also seated at the table with the father/daugther duo was Top Billing presenter, Harmony Katulondi, there to interview Zozi.
She said: “It’s all hugely exciting and very new to me. I am loving every minute of it.”
Restaurant owner Alex Khojane said he was thrilled to be able to host Zozi, her dad Lungisa and the Top Billing team.
“We are honoured that Zozi chose to have her first meal with her father at Zio and to ask the Top Billing crew to film her in our restaurant,” he said.